[EDITOR’S NOTE: added a couple players who simply made cameos for the Kings.]
The NHL announced the remaining 67 players on their list of the 100 greatest to ever play the game, and while the Los Angeles Kings were obviously shut out of the pre-1967 list, they got a few guys on the big list. Here’s the rundown of every King unveiled in Los Angeles tonight:
Robinson was most renowned for his time in Montreal, where he won a Conn Smythe, two Norris Trophies and six Stanley Cups, but he finished his career in Los Angeles, where he became the oldest King of all time. In his final game, he was 40 years (and 317 days!) old and, appropriately, was a +2. That brought his career total to a +730, which is so astonishing that even the misleading nature of +/- doesn’t ruin that number.
NHL STATS: 1384 games, 208 goals, 750 assists, 958 points, +730
LOS ANGELES KINGS STATS: 182 games, 11 goals, 64 assists, 75 points, +30
Dionne had his number retired by the Kings on November 8, 1990, after one of the most underrated careers in NHL history. It wasn’t underrated by other players, though, who bestowed upon him the Lester B. Pearson Award twice as their MVP. (He lost to a Great player one of those years after tying him for the NHL scoring lead.) We’ll let him represent the entire Triple Crown Line on this list.
NHL STATS: 1348 games, 731 goals, 1040 assists, 1771 points, eight All-Star Games
LA KINGS STATS: 921 games, 550 goals, 757 assists, 1307 points, seven All-Star Games
Kurri had really accomplished all he needed to accomplish in Edmonton, but he had time to play second banana to Luc Robitaille in the Kings’ 1992-93 regular season, and fourth banana in the playoffs. Still pretty good. He was the same age as Wayne Gretzky, and though he wasn’t quite as prolific in all their years together, he did once lead the league in scoring and shot at a 19.1% clip for his career.
NHL STATS: 1251 games, 601 goals, 797 assists, 1398 points, 19.1% shooting
LA KINGS STATS: 331 games, 108 goals, 185 assists, 293 points, 13.7% shooting
No explanation needed.
NHL STATS: 1487 games, 894 goals, 1963 assists, 2857 points, 50 regular season hat tricks
LA KINGS STATS: 539 games, 246 goals, 672 assists, 918 points, 1 playoff hat trick (but it was monumental)
Who did Coffey play for? The better question might be, who didn’t he play for? His 60-game stint with the Kings puts them as the #5 team in his career in terms of games played. He missed out on the 1992-93 playoffs as he was traded for Jimmy Carson in January of that season, but he made the All-Star team that season as well as in the season before. So he was only ever an All-Star for LA!
NHL STATS: 1409 games, 396 goals, 1135 assists, 1531 points, 1.09 points per game (#2 among defensemen)
LA KINGS STATS: 60 games, 9 goals, 53 assists, 62 points, 1.03 points per game (#1)
Smith is unusual among the LA-cup-of-coffee members in that he played for LA before achieving prominence, not after. His first five games, including his first career victory, were for the Kings, who drafted him in the fifth round (59th overall) in 1970. He then departed for the newly formed New York Islanders, and like the guy below him on this list, won hockey’s biggest trophy four times.
NHL STATS: 675 games, 304-230-104, .882 SV%, 3.16 GAA, 20 fights
LA KINGS STATS: 5 games, 1-3-1, 4.60 GAA, 1 fight
Fuhr’s time in LA was a blip, as he struggled during the strike-shortened of 1994-95, but he did rebound later with St. Louis. His work earlier in his career got him this spot, though, as he won a Vezina and minded the net behind Gretzky and Kurri for the Edmonton Oilers.
NHL STATS: 868 games, 403-295-114, .887 SV%, 3.38 GAA, 4 Cups
LA KINGS STATS: 14 games, 1-7-3, .876 SV%, 4.04 GAA, 0 cups
When the only two hockey players with individual statues at Staples are you and the literal greatest player of all time, you’ve done well. Robitaille got a Cup as a player in Detroit and two as an exec out here, but the pre-prime, prime, and post-prime of his career all took place in Los Angeles.
NHL STATS: 1431 games, 668 goals, 726 assists, 1394 points, 89 GWG
LA KINGS STATS: 1077 games, 557 goals, 597 assists, 1154 points, 73 GWG